Updated: April 17, 2018
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Awesome Things To Do In Japan In February

February is the coldest month in Japan, and probably the best to enjoy winter festivities and traditions! There are lots to discover in Japan in February. Here's a guide to some interesting things you can see and do during that month in Japan!

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Watch (Or Participate) In The Tokyo Marathon

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In February, Tokyo becomes the stage of one of the greatest sporting events in the world: The Tokyo Marathon. The course goes through modern and old parts of the city and people gather along it to cheer the participants. The main competition attracts the best marathon runners in the world, but there is a multitude of other competitions that are part of the event. To get all the details, visit the link below.

Go To The Sapporo Winter

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The people of Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, know how to throw a winter party!
This is arguably the hugest winter-themed event in the world. You'll get to see massive snow and ice sculptures and enjoy some of the awesome Hokkaido food at stalls all over the festival's site. Sapporo's culinary scene is something to discover too! You shouldn't miss the Jingisukan bbq while you're there!

Watch Or Join In A Hadaka Matsuri (Naked Festival) In Okayama

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This festival held in Okayama is quite fascinating on many levels. You have to admire the courage of the men who engage in this ancient catch-the-sacred-stick competition wearing next to nothing (only the traditional fundoshi) at near-freezing temperatures. This is a huge event and one of the most popular festivals held in the winter.

Throw Some Soy Beans At Ogres!

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There is this tradition held on Setsubun (first day of spring of the lunar calender) during which people gather on shrine grounds to throw beans at ogres that represent evil spirits. People chant "out with the ogres" and "in with good fortune"! This tradition is also done at home and there are certain foods such as special sushi rolls called ehomaki that Japanese eat to welcome good fortune for the year that begins. According to the traditional Asian lunar calendar, the new year begins in the spring.

Enjoy The Plum Blossoms!

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Another sure sign that spring is coming to Japan is the blooming of the plum trees. Although not as famous as the sakura, or cherry blossoms, plum trees can be just as beautiful. There are some great sites where you can enjoy the plum blossoms to their fullest. The picture above is in Mie Prefecture. The Hangi Park is famous for them in Tokyo. To know more about plum blossoms, refer to the link below!

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival

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Picture a charming, old Japanese snow-covered town in the foothills of a mountain, that becomes lit up every evening from 5 PM by the warm glow of 120,000 candles. This is exactly what Otaru becomes for a few days in February during its unique snow light festival. Otary is located in Hokkaido. Its snow festival is lower key than the huge Sapporo Snow Festival, but it's just as much worth the visit.

Go Even Further North To Attend Asahikawa Winter Festival

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Asahikawa City is home to Hokkaido's second largest winter festival (the biggest being the Sapporo Snow Festival). Asahikawa is located in an area of scenic beauty, surrounded by snow-covered mountains. At the festival, you will see ice sculptures and some huge snow monuments. In fact, Asahikawa holds the record for the biggest ever snow monument.

Attend A Snow House Festival In Akita Prefecture

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The city of Yokote in Akita Prefecture holds every year, for the past 400 years, a Kamakura Festival. A kamakura is an igloo-like shelter made by making a mound of snow and digging out the inside. Festival-goers are invited inside to have some drinks of sweet non-alcoholic sake and there are also thousands of miniature versions of the snow shelters that make a beautiful path of lights along the river that runs through the city!
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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